• Goals for 2023:
    1. Scale the organization to handle more events with targeted volunteers.
    2. Develop a fall drill together with Santa Cruz and San Mateo County.
  • Achievements
    1. Community Preparedness Day in May was coordinated by SSEPO, South Skyline FireSafe Council, and the Redwood Conservation District. 81 South Skyline residents attended to learn about emergency preparedness in the South Skyline area.
    2. First Arrivers Skills Day was held in September. SSEPO hosted 45 community members at La Honda Fire. Classes included how to call 911, fire suppression techniques, and how to deal with medical emergencies when first on the scene. A Stop the Bleed class taught by Ari Delay was also included.
    3. An American Heart Association Heartsaver CPR, First Aid and AED training was held in July. Ten South Skyline residents received certification in CPR taught by Skyline resident and AHA instructor Don Chislow.
    4. A neighborhood emergency drill was held in October with ARES. Radio contact with SSEPO Communications Center on Castanea Ridge and DOC located in La Honda was established. Each participating neighborhood focused on contacting households and updating resident’s contact information. Leading up to the drill, weekly posts were sent on drill procedures.
    5. A new Conex container was installed at Mid Pen’s Skyline Ranger station to hold emergency medical and communication supplies. This is part of a regional effort to professionalize the maintenance and activation of emergency supply caches.
    6. SSEPO hosted staff from San Mateo County Medical Reserve Corps at a business meeting in August. This organization is a collaborative effort between local communities and the County that will enhance preparedness and response to major medical health emergencies and disasters. SSEPO encourages South Skyline residents to volunteer and receive specialized training to assist in the event of a large-scale disaster, public health emergency, hospital surge, or to provide medical related support to shelters. www.smchealth.org/MRC
    7. The website was updated to include safety measures residents can utilize due to extreme weather and more frequent power outages.


  • Organizational Goals for 2022:
    • 1. Establish effective communication between neighborhoods in the South Skyline area to include a meaningful exchange of information in an
    • emergency/disaster situation
    • 2. Set up a system of volunteers from the South Skyline area to help wit training and other SSEPO projects.
  • Achievements
    1. First Arrivers Skills Day Training July 9, 2022. 31 participants learned how to respond to emergency medical situations when encountering vehicular accidents on Skyline Blvd. Cal Fire, South Skyline Fire and Rescue and CERT instructors provided the training.
    2. Co-sponsored with Firesafe Council the Community Preparedness Day in August. This informational day for the community was open to all mountain communities. It also provided significant interaction between agencies and opportunity for the 3 counties to communicate about services.
    3. SSEPO subsidized an American Heart Association HeartSaver CPR/First Aid/AED training at Las Cumbres Commuity Center. Ten community members were trained in advanced medical care and support.
    4. Created a more scalable approach to maintenance, inventory and activation of emergency supply caches in San Mateo County. This was accomplished through a Care and Shelter grant from Human Services Agency in San Mateo County to the La Honda Fire Brigade. The existing container was replaced by a set of three Conex containers managed by the relevant fire departments at La Honda, Pescadero, and the Skyline Ridge Ranger Station. The Skyline Ridge container will contain medical supplies, radios, and shelter supplies for use in an emergency.
    5. A matching donation of $500.00 was given to help replace radio equipment on Butano Ridge.
    6. 30 GMRS radios were approved by SSEPO and funded with the help of SSA.
    7. Winlink communication system set up, completed and tested, and communication between SSEPO communication station and Santa Cruz County radio operators was established.


  • SSEPO organized the South Skyline area participation in the October 9 Great Shakeout Drill in conjunction with ARES and local fire departments. Each neighborhood developed their own plan including GMRS radio checks. The information gathered was forwarded to the
  • EOC at La Honda Fire, using radio and WinLink. All but four neighborhoods in the area participated, reaching 25% of the population north of HWY 9. The medical trailer was activated at Horseshoe Lake and CERT members were encouraged to report to that area.
  • Bryan Osborne completed the WinLink communication system for emergency use in the So Skyline area. The American Radio and Relay League honored Bryan (KD6UCA) recently for hosting the WinLink repeater, essential for passing email and other data via amateur radio.
  • Pat O’Coffey began attending FireSafe Council meetings representing La Honda Fire Brigade and SSEPO in order to contribute to and work with agencies to achieve the common goal of public safety.
  • A power point presentation on SSEPO was developed and is available for presentations to the community.
  • SSEPO will begin planning for a decentralized system of available medical supplies and develop neighborhood training for use of the supplies. This system will compliment the centralized critical care capabilities of the medical trailer.


  • In November, 2020 a CERT class was held online for the first time with 48 participants.  Skills Day  was delayed by Covid restrictions, and participants were certified to assist in future CERT call-outs.
  • GMRS repeater tests and maintenance continued to ensure that all neighborhoods could be reached.   Middleton Track and Alpine Road areas were tested successfully for efficiency of the Long Ridge repeater. 
  • A grant for purchase of GMRS radios for Middleton Track’s emergency preparedness group  was approved, and radios were purchased and deployed.
  • One SSEPO representative sits on SSA board and  emergency preparedness articles were contributed to the SSA newsletter
  • A partnership with City of Palo Alto’s Emergency Services was established by Bryan Osborne.  A radio scanner was donated to SSEPO for use in the medical trailer.  In addition, a plan was approved to organize a joint training with City of Palo Alto and SSEPO using the city’s command trailer.
  • SSEPO’s Neighborhood Emergency Plan was implemented during the CZU fire  in several neighborhoods and GMRS and Ham radio activation was invaluable for residents who either evacuated or stayed to protect property.
  • SSEPO website information was updated with practical and emergency information related to the Covid lockdown. 
  • First Arrivers workshop was adapted to online format due to COVID 19 restrictions and hosted 40 people.  The course, created by Frances Mann-Craik and Rich Lee, covered information about the Skyline area and what to do if you are first on the scene of an accident.  Videos of the two classes are available on the SSEPO website.   Trunk kits for participants were provided at the conclusion of the classes.
  • During the November SET, the medical trailer was set up at Skyline Ridge by Rich Lee and was available for radio communications and community viewing.  
  • Dr. Rich Lee offered invaluable expertise to SSEPO regarding Covid restrictions and testing.  
  • A grant was approved for encrypted printed communication equipment and a solar panel for the communication trailer on Castanea Ridge.  


  • Held 4 Board Meetings.
  • GIS mapping project continued in South Skyline area.
  • April, 2019 CERT class held in King's Mt. for 30 participants.
  • Phase 2 of the Medical Trailer Project funded by 501c3 donations to SSEPO.  This included doubling the solar power and battery capacity as well as extra heating, cooling and ventilation capabilities.
  • Planning initiated for the "First Arrivals Workshop" to be held in Spring 2020solar power and battery capacity as well as extra heating, cooling and ventilation capabilities.
  • Funded a Tarheel 100A-HP HF vertical antenna, which was installed on the Castanea Ridge COMM trailer for helicopter landing communications.
  • Organized media outreach and posted resources for South Skyline residents who have lost home insurance.
  • GMRS repeater tests and maintenance continued to make sure that all neighborhoods could be reached.  New repeater sharing on Black Mountain is being explored.
  • Relationship with Jikoji enhanced by neighborhood coordinator in Monkey Rock as a future emergency shelter for South Skyline residents.
  • SSEPO representative sits on SSA board and emergency preparedness articles were contributed to the SSA newsletter.
  • Planning initiated for the "First Arrivals Workshop" to be held in Spring 2020.


  • Held 5 Board Meetings.
  • GIS Mapping continued in South Skyline neighborhoods.
  • Radio communications expanded. Purchased 10 more Baofeng GMRS radios for neighborhood use. Installed a GMRS Repeater in Portola Heights, which allows communication between the neighborhoods of Monkey Rock, Rosemary Lane, Jikoji, Portola Heights, Rocky Creek and beyond.
  • Held three CERT refresher training classes for South Skyline CERT and Southcoast CERT: Emergency Preparedness, Medical Care and Triage, McGuyver Medicine.
  • Las Cumbres held an earthquake drill, exercising cluster triage and radio communications.
  • Contributed to the SSA Newsletter: South Skyline Medical Corp., ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) and GMRS Repeater, McGuyver Medicine, SET (Simulated Emergency Test) Drill, and the Medical Resource Trailer.
  • Participated in San Mateo County earthquake emergency communications drill, testing HAM radio communications with the CEOC in Half Moon Bay, La Honda DOC, Pescadero DOC and SCARES 6m repeater in King’s Mtn.
  • Supported the SET (Simulated Emergency Test) held in South Skyline. The staging area was at Skyline Ridge. Sponsored by SC4ARES (La Honda Amateur Radio Emergency Services) and South Skyline ARES. Southcoast CERT, South Skyline CERT and San Mateo Large Animal Evac were activated to assist in a post-earthquake scenario in the South Skyline area. SSA Article on SET.
  • Created a comprehensive “Emergency Communications” list of phone numbers and websites for South Skyline residents.
  • Provided support in the building of a new helicopter landing zone in Castanea Ridge.
  • Refurbished the donated Red Cross trailer into a Medical Response Trailer.  SSA Article on Medical Resource Trailer.
  • Gave a SSEPO presentation to the Community Emergency Action Program (CEAP) in Half Moon Bay.
  • South Skyline CERT has 21 members sworn in by the county of Santa Cruz.
  • GIS mapping continues throughout South Skyline neighborhoods.
  • Obtained a retired Red Cross trailer, which will be outfitted for mobile medical operations.
  • Pay Pal was set up for receiving donations.
  • At the annual Simulated Emergency Training (SET) on October 21, we successfully tested ham radio communications from Saratoga-Summit Fire with La Honda, San Lorenzo Valley and Loma Prieta ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services).
  • SSEPO provided grant money for the neighborhoods of Monkey Rock / Jikoji, Rosemary Lane and Portola Heights to purchase additional GMRS radios.  GMRS testing has been successful between Cloud's Rest to the north and Saratoga-Summit to the south and all points in between.  Neighborhoods within this area can now communicate with each other, although transmission is not always successful, with our conventional antennas.  2018 plans are to install a repeater, which will allow for much better transmissions between neighborhoods.
  • Preliminary plans are in place to establish a Department Operations Center (DOC) at Saratoga-Summit for CERT activations, ham radio communication and medical operations.


  • Completed the By-Laws
  • Completed the Website
  • Neighborhoods expanded:Neighborhood Coordinators identified for Monkey Rock, Rosemary Lane and Las Cumbres; Waterman Gap now part of the SSA Community; provided assistance to several other neighborhoods who are getting established.
  • Las Cumbres conducted a Triage / First Aid Training Class.
  • A CPR / Choking / Triage class was held at the MROSD Skyline Field Office.
  • Several drills in setting up the communications infrastructure were held at the MROSD Skyline Field Office.
  • The GIS Mapping Project got underway and the following neighborhoods completed mapping: Portola Heights, Castanea Ridge, Monkey Rock, Rosemary Lane, Rocky Creek and a number of individual residences.Mapping has been initiated in Las Cumbres, Waterman Gap, and the Alpine/Portola State Park area.
  • Co-sponsored, with the SSA Fire Safe Council, a presentation by Battalion Chief and La Honda Fire Brigade Chief Ari Delay at the April SSA meeting on Wildfire Preparation.
  • Held quarterly meetings with multi-county Office of Emergency Services (OES) leaders for sharing of information and ideas across counties.
  • Held a nighttime emergency drill.
  • Created the Saratoga Gap CERT. (Later called South Skyline CERT)


  • Recruited volunteers at the Neighborhood level in support of emergency preparedness plans, identified Neighborhood Coordinators (NC), trained and supported new NC’s
  • Initiated the identification of medically trained community members who can help in emergencies and maintained the medical aid station at the MROSD Skyline Field Station
  • Improved Ham Radio communication links across the South Skyline area, including links with Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES)
  • Organized the first ever meeting of all three county Office of Emergency Services (OES) offices to clarify communication and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) activations.
  • Created the South Skyline Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
  • Conducted local community emergency preparedness drills
  • Obtained 501c3 non-profit status